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Wednesday, 04 June 2014 11:38

UK wants to cut the price of mobile calls

Written by Nick Farrell

Watchdog barks at operators

The UK telecoms watchdog Ofcom wants further cuts in mobile termination rates , which are the charges operators impose to connect calls across networks. The move that could lead to cheaper bills for consumers.

Since 2011 mobile termination rates have already fallen 80 percent from about 4 pence a minute to 0.8 pence. For those who remember ten years ago, UK termination rates, which apply to calls from landlines as well as mobiles, were about 14 pence a minute. Ofcom said a new mobile charge control, applying to all operators, would see rates fall slightly further, to less than half a penny per minute by April 2017 in real terms.

Ofcom Competition Policy Director Brian Potterill said consumers were benefiting from a thriving competitive market.

"The average cost of a call bundle has fallen from 40 pounds to around 13 pounds in real terms over the last ten years," he said. "We want to ensure mobile users continue to benefit from competition, which will deliver affordable services in the years ahead."

Ofcom should be ready to make an announcement in March next year.

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